Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, offshore drilling programme

Kosmos Energy Ltd had planned to drill up to five exploration wells to determine the presence of hydrocarbons within Blocks C8 and C12 offshore Mauritania, which lead to major discoveries (Tortue-1, Ahmeyim-2 and Marsouin-1). RPS was appointed to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment of their proposed drilling campaign to obtain the required Environmental Permit and two Social Impact Assessments (SIAs) to satisfy their internal requirements.

Key details

Project name
Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, offshore drilling programme

Client
Kosmos Energy

Location
Offshore Mauritania

Services provided

  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Social Impact Assessment

Challenge

Mauritania has a set environmental permitting process which must be followed so that permits can be issued. French is the official language and therefore all documentation must be issued, and consultations conducted, in French.

The SIA objective was twofold: engaging with the communities to understand their views and potential impacts of the project (both genuine and perceived); and gaining an overview of the current socio-economic baseline conditions of these isolated communities.

Environmental and social impact assessment, offshore drilling programme - project image.png

Solution

The permitting process included submission of proposed Terms of Reference validated during a meeting with the Direction du Contrôle Environnemental (directorate of Environmental Control), public consultations in Keur Macene and Nouakchott, EIA write-up and submission followed by disclosure during a formal public consultation process.

To support the SIAs, primary social baseline data was acquired during field visits to communities settled between north of Nouakchott and along the coastal Dune to N’Diago near the Senegal Border.

We utilised in-depth knowledge of local stakeholders and our established relationships with local consultancies and Marine Research Centre to gather recent baseline information. Our project team was led by a native French speaker who conducted the consultations in-country.

The SIA field worked enabled to:

  • Supplement and verify the data collected from secondary sources
  • Provide an overview of the baseline socio-economic conditions
  • Confirm the presence of artisanal marine fishing activity in the proximity of the drilling sites
  • Characterise the importance of artisanal and coastal marine fishing

Project statistics

2
EIAs, 2 SIAs and TOR validation meetings
2
Public consultations
130
people participated in group meetings or individual interviews
14
day field trip to engage with coastal communities

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